Today was a looooong day, with plenty of learning opportunities. As a result, this is a loooong post, with plenty of opportunities to induce boredom.
Anyhoo… This morning, at 5:45am ET, I violated one of my very own technical deployment rules and decided to upgrade my main website (this website, in fact)to ASP.NET 2.0, just before running off to work. This was in order to be able to use the Community-Credit add-on. In case you didn’t hear about that saga previously, I had some troubles with that add-on that turned out to be a result of me running ASP.NET 1.1, since it was designed for ASP.NET 2.0.
Once I was able to get my internal website upgraded, I figured it would be a cinch to get the other two installations upgraded.
Rule #1: The easier you believe the job to be, the more time you need to allocate for it.
It’s amazing how many things can go wrong when you don’t have the time to deal with them. Conversely, the more time you allocate to address the issue up front, the smoother everything goes, and the more you’re tempted to reduce the time in the next deployment.
So, I upgraded my public website using pretty much the same files that I had pushed to my internal website. It broke. And badly. Of course, by then, I had made the database changes and everything, and it would take more time to back out than I was willing to spend at that moment, so I opened a ticket with the good folks at ASPnix, left it broken and went to work. I also followed up with a post on the ASPnix forums.
Rick was very helpful, and once he looked at the error messages, he was able to help me understand the nature of the conflict, which was module related. Speaking of error messages, for some annoying reason, I can’t get Community Server to display verbose error messages remotely, even when I alter the Web.Config file to turn off custom error messages. I’ll have to remember to search the CS forums and see if this has been asked before. That one fact slowed me down considerably in my troubleshooting efforts today.
So, while my public site is still broken, I proceed to upgrade my CS-based corporate intranet site as previously planned. Wisely (or luckily), I set aside 30 minutes to deal with it. Of course, the key advantage I have with both the corporate installation and my test server at home, is direct and physical access to IIS and the boxes themselves. The update went smoothly, and I threw in Ken Robertson’s URL remapping mod in order to change around the URLs. The whole process took me about 15 minutes to upgrade and add the module.
Inexplicably, I now have two sites working fine — running all the mods I wanted — and one site not running at all, which happened to be fairly important to me, but was also the one for which I did not have direct access.
Anyway, with Rick suggestion to go with pristine config files, I was able to get it back up and running. Once I got home, I went through the tedious process of adding back elements of my CommunityServer.config file one at a time until I could determine what broke the site. It turns out that whenever I enable the CCredit module on the public website, it breaks. And there is nothing in the EventLog to help me deduce the problem.
Everything works just fine on the internal site, though. It’s the same source tree that I’m using to push to the internal site and the public site (minus the Web.Config file, of course ). I’ve started a new thread in the Community-Credit forums seeking for some help, so let’s see if this can be resolved by the weekend or so.
Lastly, based on the tips presented in the past two Daily News, I got some great tips on how to add navigation menu items to my blog header, and an add-on module for sharing your post. Unfortunately, I can’t download Robert Law’s file, because it’s complaining about the Zip file being corrupt (11kb out of 12kb gets downloaded), so I “settled” for Scott Watermasysk’s original ShareIt! module, which installed quickly and easily.
So, here I am, almost at the end of the journey, and the primary reason for the update — to run Community-Credit — is still an elusive goal on the main website that it needs to be on.
Some days, you just can’t win them all. (2 out of 3 is good in baseball and basketball, so I won’t be too despondent).